July 26, 2009

Management in Dispute; Steven Ma caught in the middle

Next Weekly Edition:1101
Stephen Chan Shows Support; Waiting for Ma Zai to Sign Contract
Translated by: Tamaya @ asianfanatics.net
pls credit mag scans to steven-org.org

Management Fry Big Wok, Steven Ma caught in the middle.
(Management in Dispute; Steven Ma caught in the middle)
It has always been widely rumored that the two top TVB executives, Virginia Lok and Catherine Tsang, are at odds with each other underneath their cordial appearance. Lately their discord is out in the open for all to see, even to the point of being factious; explicitly taking a stance of it’s you or me to the bitter end. As to the cause of this contention, allegedly Ms. Lok had vocally criticized that Ms. Tsang’s favorite general, Steven Ma’s image ‘can’t enter homes’ (interpretation: Steven has no audience appeal or draw) hence, had repeatedly obstructed his contract renewal with TVB. This point of contention caused the two top female executives to publicly open fire at each other, stirring the big wok during a meeting. Stephen Chan, as the outsider, was ultimately forced to resolve their dispute.

Sacrificing a Favorite General.
In recent years, there has been a shortage of siu sang and fan da in TVB. Furthermore, many of its artistes upon termination of their contracts, would jump ship onto greener pastures elsewhere, thereby greatly reducing the already increasingly meager human resources in the artistes management sector, TVB’s most profitable department. As to the group of artistes who possess rating power and whose contract renewals are pending or upcoming such as: Bowie Lam, Roger Kwok, Steven Ma, Maggie Cheung, Sheren Teng, Wong Hei and Ada Choi; it can be said that TVB will definitely want to retain them. But after a lapse of half year, only Bowie Lam and Roger Kwok have renewed their contracts. This situation had greatly alarmed board member, Mona Fong. As the Director of Artiste Resources, Ms. Lok was responsible for stock replenishment, consequently, her right-hand woman, Manager of Artistes Development, Ms. Chan (陳佩華) had to be sacrificed for the flap when she took the blame by resigning last month.

To prevent further outflow of talents, allegedly earlier on, a meeting was held with various TVB departments to discuss the contract renewal crisis. In the meeting, the Director of Series Production, Ms. Catherine Tsang, laid out the contract predicament of her favorite general, Steven Ma, whose contract would expire in early July. However, the discussion degenerated into an acrimonious verbal war between the two top executives.

An Insider’s Account
“Ms. Lok claimed that Steven Ma’s image ‘can’t enter the homes’, subsequently, both parties couldn’t come to an agreement on his contract terms. And then someone quipped: “Is it only your home that he can’t enter?” At the time, the tension was already explosive; Zhan Jie then pointed out that Steven’s series have yet to be broadcast including Stars of Love, A Watchdog’s Life and Pu Songling. If he left, will these 3 series still be aired? Furthermore, Steven has just accepted a new series, ‘Temptations’. Zhan Jie felt that not renewing the contract will not insure the company of its interest.”

Stephen Chan’s Involvement
Steven first entered the entertainment industry as a singer, however, his singing career was less than ideal, then. It was not until he gained Catherine Tsang’s appreciation and participated in TVB series such as Files of Justice, Duke of Mt. Deer, Healing Hands, and Perish in the name of love that his popularity soared. In 2005, through Ms. Tsang, Steven signed the management contract with TVB. Thereafter, he performed in many high rating series including Land of Wealth and Safeguards. In the 2006 TVB anniversary ceremony, he received the award for 'The Most Favorite Male Character', thereby successfully becoming TVB front line actor. For this, Ms. Tsang’s efforts cannot be underestimated.

The dispute between the higher executives has yet to be resolved, so whether Steven, whose contract has already expired, will stay or not is still up in the air. TVB General Manager, Stephen Chan, was forced to resolve this dispute. He took it upon himself to personally negotiate the contract renewal with Steven. Earlier on, Steven went to TVB city to discuss his contract renewal. He said: “Came to discuss the contract. My thanks to Zhan Jie and Mr. Chan for their high regards of me. The negotiation was amiable. But as to the terms in the contract, it is not convenient to disclose.”

Stephen Chan said: “I’ve discussed the contract with Ma Zai. Ma Zai is not a new artiste. He has no problems whatsoever in 'entering audiences' homes'. We have already resolved the terms. At the moment, only waiting for him to return the signed contract to the company.” He said there was no discord over this matter as was reported. Stephen said that Ma Zai’s series have always brought in steady and good ratings. And that he approves of Steven.

Each With Her Own Mountain Peak.
In TVB, Ms. Lok and Ms. Tsang lead two separate factions; their relationship resembles that of fire and water. Because of their high positions and great power, all tvb siu sang and fan dan, whenever they are on stage to receive their awards, will sure to thank both Ms. Lok and Zhan Jie simultaneously. Their status is on par with each other, therefore, neither one of them can be offended.

OMG! Thank you, Mr. Chan! Thank you for stepping in and rescuing Steven (and TVB)! Without Steven, my favorite Linda coupling would cease to exist. But then again, this Ms. Lok is too over. This is the same lady that overworked Linda, has a crush on Kevin Cheng, and scolded Wong Hei for not getting along with her crush.

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